ICE's Detention Numbers Creep Upward, TRAC Adds Usability Feature to Quick Facts
(03 Apr 2023) According to the latest data released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), detention numbers creeped upward in recent weeks while alternatives to detention numbers continue to decline. TRAC has also implemented new user improvements for Quick Facts where these data are made more accessible to the public.

ICE’s latest numbers show that a total of 26,898 immigrants were held in detention on March 26, 2023. Although this still lower than the Biden administration’s height of 30,001 in November 2022, it has grown in recent weeks from around 20,500 at the start of the year. If the steady growth in detention numbers continues it may soon surpass 30,000. Moreover, the possible end of Title 42 and the Biden administration’s consideration of restarting family detention could contribute to this growth.

After two years of steady growth of ICE’s Alternatives to Detention (ATD) program, the total population on ATD declined from 377,980 in December down to 281,613 as of March 25, 2023. The number of migrants monitored by every technology type has also declined, including SmartLINK, a smartphone app that is currently ICE’s most-used monitoring technology. For instance, just 4,874 immigrants are now monitored by GPS ankle monitors, down from 30,000 at the start of the Biden administration.

TRAC has implemented a new usability feature in its Quick Facts page. Users can now link directly to individual Quick Facts by clicking the link icon in the upper left corner of each Quick Fact block. This feature makes it easier for users to save and share precise Quick Facts that they return to rather than needing to locate the information on the page.

Highlights from data updated in TRAC's Quick Fact tool show that:

  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement held 26,898 in ICE detention according to data current as of March 26, 2023.

  • 16,285 out of 26,898—or 60.5%—held in ICE detention have no criminal record, according to data current as of March 26, 2023. Many more have only minor offenses, including traffic violations.

  • ICE relied on detention facilities in Texas to house the most people during FY 2023, according to data current as of March 20, 2023.

  • ICE arrested 6,965 and CBP arrested 12,767 of the 19,732 people booked into detention by ICE during February 2023.

  • South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas held the largest number of ICE detainees so far in FY 2023, averaging 1,367 per day (as of March 2023).

  • ICE Alternatives to Detention (ATD) programs are currently monitoring 281,613 families and single individuals, according to data current as of March 25, 2023.

  • Harlingen's area office has highest number in ICE's Alternatives to Detention (ATD) monitoring programs, according to data current as of March 25, 2023.

For more information, see TRAC's Quick Facts tools here or click here to learn more about TRAC's entire suite of immigration tools.

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